As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up is an updated write-up on the defensive end position.
Back from last season: Willie Young, Ronnell Lewis
New to the team: Israel Idonije, Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Devin Taylor, Braylon Broughton, Spencer Nealy
Our original look at the Lions' defensive ends couldn't have come at a more fitting time. It was published just hours before the Lions signed defensive end Israel Idonije. As I had hoped, the Lions added another veteran defensive end, but in the process the move rendered much of that post out of date. As a result, we are once again taking a look at the Lions' defensive ends, this time with Idonije in the fold.
With Idonije joining the Lions, they have yet another new face at defensive end. This position has been completely revamped since the end of last season. Kyle Vanden Bosch, Lawrence Jackson and Cliff Avril are out; Idonije, Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones and Devin Taylor are in.
It remains to be seen how often the Lions will move the versatile Idonije and Jones inside to defensive tackle, and it remains to be seen which player will start at left defensive end. The original plan called for Jones to take that starting spot, but the addition of Idonije could cause the Lions to make a change to their depth chart. Either way, the Lions will likely start one of them and have Ansah starting on the other side of the line. Young and Taylor should be part of the rotation as well, giving the Lions a really solid top five at defensive end.
The other main question at defensive end revolves around Ronnell Lewis. If the Lions keep only five defensive ends again, Lewis likely won't make the 53-man roster. If the plan is for Idonije and Jones to get some time at defensive tackle, though, Lewis could potentially make the team as the Lions' sixth defensive end with a strong showing in training camp and the preseason. I suppose this scenario also goes for Braylon Broughton and Spencer Nealy, but they are more likely to land on the practice squad than the 53-man roster.
Need going forward?
With the addition of Idonije, this position is set for the Lions. There is a nice mix of veterans and younger guys, making for a really solid rotation. Unless there's an injury, I don't see a need to add anybody else of note at defensive end.